“It’s a sign of the power of the abortion lobby that it’s big news for HHS to acknowledge the kind of science every kid learns K-12: that a new human life is created at the moment of conception, growing, responding to stimuli, exhibiting all the signs of life that NASA keeps looking for on distant planets.” -Kristan Hawkins
Fr. Mark Hodges : Oct 17, 2017 : LifeSiteNews.com
(Washington, DC)—[Lifesitenews.com] NOTE: The draft plan is up for public comment on the HHS website, or via email at HHSPlan@hhs.gov. Citizens may also fax their comments to (202) 690-5882, mail a letter to Department of Health and Human Services, Attn: Strategic Plan Comments, 200 Independence Av SW, Room 415F, Washington DC 20201. (Photo: President Donald Trump/via LifeSiteNews.com)
In a stunning change of direction from the Obama administration, the Trump Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not only declared that human life begins “at conception,” but has made protecting citizens “from conception to natural death” one of its top priorities.
While the Obama HHS under Kathleen Sebelius championed abortion coverage, the HHS under Trump’s pick Tom Price proposed in its newly released draft “strategic plan” to rescind that mandate and defend life and religious liberty. The strategic plan, dated September 2017, sets goals beginning in 2018 and ending 2022.
The proposed plan states that HHS will serve and protect Americans at “every stage of life, beginning at conception” and up through “natural death.”
The HHS specifically states under the first goal of “Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care” that its “ultimate goal is to improve healthcare outcomes for all people, including the unborn.”
Pro-lifers are cheering the proposed plan while abortion activists have expressed outrage.
“The American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) applauds the recognition that human life begins at the ‘moment of conception’ which, when rightly understood, is the moment of the fusion of the sperm and egg,” Executive Director Dr. Donna J. Harrison told LifeSiteNews.
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias told LifeSiteNews that the plan was a “positive step forward to that day when all unborn children are protected.”
40 Days for Life President Shawn Carney told LifeSiteNews that it was “very encouraging to see the new HHS effort to confirm what science has been telling us—life begins at conception.”
Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life (AUL) told LifeSiteNews that the HHS addition of “beginning at conception” in reference to protecting lives “accurately reflects current state law.”
“Thirty-eight states now have a fetal homicide law and thirty of them begin legal protection at conception,” he said. “In addition, there are court cases and legal and legislative declarations in nearly all of the states stating that the life of a human being begins at conception.”
“It’s appropriate that HHS should bring its mission into line with the legal protection of human beings in current law,” Forsythe said.
Jim Sedlak, American Life League Executive Director, said that no one should be surprised that the HHS strategic plan under the administration of “pro-life President Donald Trump” differs from the strategic plan put together by the “administration of the most pro-abortion president in American history—Barack Obama.”
Sedlak said some are portraying the HHS changes as “somehow anti-woman.”
“When will these people realize that about fifty percent of the babies that will have their lives saved through a more pro-life approach will be female?” he told LifeSiteNews.
“It is incredible that, in 2017, there are still people who deny that every human being’s life begins at Stage 1-A of the Carnegie Stages of Human Development,” he added.
Sedlak said the HHS changes merely reflect scientific fact.
“The addition of the words ‘beginning at conception’ is not a radical departure but simply a clarifying phrase,” he said. “The phrase is necessary because many abortion supporters want to deny that the term ‘every stage of life’ includes life stages that occur before birth.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said that Trump’s HHS administration is stating “the obvious” in the proposed plan.
“It’s a sign of the power of the abortion lobby that it’s big news for HHS to acknowledge the kind of science every kid learns K-12: that a new human life is created at the moment of conception, growing, responding to stimuli, exhibiting all the signs of life that NASA keeps looking for on distant planets,” she said.
“At least our government now proclaims what we all learned at grade school: a new human life begins at conception,” Hawkins concluded, “and we should treat those unique persons with the same respect we expect for ourselves.”
Lila Rose of Live Action commented that the change to the HHS mandate “might be five little words, but its meaning is deep…”
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